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Strawberry Runners

Morning All, I was given a large clump of strawberry plant from a friend from work, seems to be growing nice and healthy but was just curious about the long, overhanging stems that seem to be sprouting roots in mid-air.

I've had a gander on Google and understand these produce a 2nd plant, what's the best way to propogate these - chop from the plant and pot alone? (If so, which part of the runner!) ... or leave on the plant and layer it down in a pot beside the mother?




  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,065

    Do the latter Char and let them root into pots near the mother plant.  Once they have rooted well you can sever the runner.  If you sever them now and pot them, they often die because there isn't enough root to support them.

    Last edited: 18 September 2016 11:31:30

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • image

    Thank-you, Bob.

    There does seem to be 3 or 4 rooting runners like the 1 above, would you chop the others I won't be potting or leave them on the plant as they are?

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,065

    Yes, remove the ones you don't want to pot as runners take energy from the mother plant which is now building itself up for next year's crop. image

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,065

    PS, if the potted runners send out their own runners, pinch those out as soon as you see them.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Steve 309Steve 309 Posts: 2,753

    If they're surplus to requirements, cut off the runners where they leave the parent plant and chuck 'em on the compost heap.

    All those you pot up should grow into healthy young plants in the next few weeks - until the weather gets cold.  It's a bit late for this (August is the usual time) but it'll do.

    Use 3" or 4" pots; if you're going to keep them in pots you can move them into bigger ones (but they needn't be very deep) in the spring, otherwise they can go into the beds then.  Official policy is to remove all the flowers in the first summer to allow the plants to develop a good root system and build up their reserves without fruiting, but most people don't bother, and are content with a smaller but quicker crop.

    Next year, don't allow them to make any new runners (i.e. cut them off as soon as you see them) until they've finished fruiting, then allow only one per plant, with only one plantlet on it.  This will double your crop, and do the same in subsequent years.

    After each plant's third year, dig it up and compost it; let the youngsters do the work.  The old ones get less productive (don't we all?) and tend to get diseases.

    They respond well to lots of compost, both in the soil before planting and as a top dressing every spring.  Kill slugs mercilessly and net well against birds.  Enjoy with cream.

  • Thanks Bob, your advice is much easier to follow than the 5 or 6 web pages, inc pics, I scrolled through prior to posting image

    Steve the plant is currently being kept safe in the greenhouse - unfortunately this is to STOP my dog doing pees on it image but will have to live in there to stop him pinching the fruit next year too! (It has its advantages with the slugs and birds and both these animals seem to think they're welcome to my garden in abundance haha) Any extra hints or tips, its very hot in there on a day like today!

  • Steve 309Steve 309 Posts: 2,753

    The greenhouse is fine Char - it will give you an earlier crop and as you say, keep many of the slugs and probably all the birds out. The same applies as outdoors as far as cultivation is concerned - they'll do better in beds if you have them in there, but will do fine in pots or other containers.  Don't water much in the winter, but the summer's another matter.  If they're in beds (Indoors or out) put a plastic or cardboard mat under each plant during fruiting to keep the fruit off the soil.  And remove the slugs that hide underneath, every day!

    Ventilate the greenhouse very well on sunny days.  Strawbs are perfectly hardy (although the other contents of the greenhouse probably aren't!) but are very susceptible to fungal diseases if they're in a warm humid atmosphere.

  • image

    Hi all

    picture shows my runners pegged into pots give them four weeks then snip off and either plant straight away or if holding until next year transplant into bigger pot.

    This is an easy way to get as many plants as you need for your strawberry patch

    Happy gardening

  • Hi, I just watched a 3 week old episode of GW where Monty said to remove the straw covering and thoroughly weed then cut the strawberries right back, which doesn't quite tally with advice on this thread. Can anyone advise please....apologies I'm a bit of a newbie that's inherited a garden with a 10 X  5m strawberry patch. 

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 39,213

    Hi Conker - what is it you're worried about with your strawberries? The advice here is correct for growing on the runners that come from the main plants. Monty was talking about the main crop which he was tidying for over winter. Both are correct  image

    I'm guessing the patch might be a bit overgrown - you can reuvenate it by using the runners and discarding old plants too 

    Last edited: 24 September 2016 07:59:40

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

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